Seems Like Karma to Me

I already knew, generally, what an M44 was in the context of wildlife management–a baited cyanide device ostensibly used to control [that is, kill] coyotes and other canidae (apparently against foxes in Australia, though using a different poison), but for some reason it popped into my head and I decided to check a few resources for a more detailed description of it and its uses.

The Wikipedia article included an incident in “criticisms” of its use that made me snicker:

“In 2003, Mr. Dennis Slaugh of Vernal, Utah, was on public lands and mistook an M-44 for a survey marker. When he pulled on it, the device shot sodium cyanide powder on his face and chest causing him to become violently ill.” [Wikipedia article on M44 cyanide device]

He THOUGHT it was a SURVEY MARKER on public land, so he tried to pull it up? Asshat. He got what he deserved. The Deuteronomical injunction against moving “boundary stones” came to mind (along with all the laws currently on the books) when I read about this asshat. Since the incident was cited as a criticism of the use of M44 cyanide devices, I doubt the asshat learned the proper lesson from his disgusting behavior. The proper lessons to have learned from that would include:


But, as I said, since the incident is cited as a criticism of the device and its use, I doubt the asshat learned the proper lesson from it. I could be wrong. . . but that’s not the way to bet.

Benefits of Sloppy Yardwork

No, really! There are benefits to lazy, sloppy yardwork. Here’s one:

For some years now, I have ignored some volunteer elms and maples that have grown up along our back fence line. This year, I have started taking them out. Now, while it would have been easy-peasy to have simply mow or weed-whacked ’em down when they first came up as seedlings, I had several reasons (in addition to laziness) for not doing so, but I’ll not go into those right now.

Anywho. . . The elms are slated for

  • chopping (into nice-sized chunks for burning) and
  • chipping

and the maples are slated for

  • milling for handrails and other projects
  • scrap and pieces larger than 1/2” in diameter reserved to make charcoal
  • all smaller scrap and pieces for burning

All pieces slated for burning to be used FIRST in making charcoal out of the maple reserved for that purpose.

Now, THAT is a benefit of “sloppy yardwork” I’m sure that few consider: a nice load of real charcoal. 🙂

Since I also let a “privacy fence” of possum grape vines grow pretty much at will, I have a lot of extra vine I have been trimming and drying. Some, I have already made into charcoal, and all of it I trim (including this year’s batch) is slated to eventually become charcoal, because it’s some of the best charcoal for making black powder. Yeh, small amounts, because it takes a LOT of grape vine to make much charcoal, and I’ve just been trimming here and there.

I suppose I ought to eventually get that tire-based retaining wall built on the South side of the yard, as well. . . maybe not this summer though.

BIG PROJECT (that may now be beyond my capabilities–oh, well): take down two stands of sycamores that need to come out. If felled to fall South, they would cross from the far North boundary of our property and take out our overhead electric service line. Must come down in pieces, a bit at a time. Six sycamores. . . each well over 60′ tall. Oh, well. Might be able to “poll” one and save it, though.